In vitro metabolism of BDE-47, BDE-99, and α-, β-, γ-HBCD isomers by chicken liver microsomes

Xiaobo Zheng, Claudio Erratico, Mohamed Abou Elwafa Abdallah, Noelia Negreira, Xiaojun Luo, Bixian Mai, Adrian Covaci*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The in vitro oxidative metabolism of 2,2',4,4'-tetrabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-47), 2,2',4,4',5-pentabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-99), and the individual α-, β- and γ-hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) isomers catalyzed by cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes was studied using chicken liver microsomes (CLMs). Metabolites were identified using a liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method and authentic standards for the oxidative metabolites of BDE-47 and BDE-99. Six hydroxylated tetra-BDEs, namely 4-hydroxy-2,2',3,4'-tetrabromodiphenyl ether (4-OH-BDE-42), 3-hydroxy-2,2',4,4'-tetrabromodiphenyl ether (3-OH-BDE-47), 5-hydroxy-2,2',4,4'-tetrabromodiphenyl ether (5-OH-BDE-47), 6-hydroxy-2,2',4,4'-tetrabromodiphenyl ether (6-OH-BDE-47), 4'-hydroxy-2,2',4,5'- tetrabromodiphenyl ether (4'-OH-BDE-49), and 2'-hydroxy-2,3',4,4'-tetrabromodiphenyl ether (2'-OH-BDE-66), were identified and quantified after incubation of BDE-47 with CLMs. 4'-OH-BDE-49 was the major metabolite formed. Three hydroxylated penta-BDEs (5'-hydroxy-2,2',4,4',5-pentabromodiphenyl ether (5'-OH-BDE-99), 6'-hydroxy-2,2',4,4',5- pentabromodiphenyl ether (6'-OH-BDE-99), and 4'-hydroxy-2,2',4,5,5'-pentabromodiphenyl ether, 4'-OH-BDE-101, were formed incubating BDE-99 with CLMs. Concentrations of BDE-99 metabolites were lower than those of BDE-47. More than four mono-hydroxylated HBCD (OH-HBCD), more than four di-hydroxylated HBCD (di-OH-HBCD), more than five mono-hydroxylated pentabromocyclododecenes (OH-PBCD), and more than five di-hydroxylated pentabromocyclododecenes (di-OH-PBCD) were detected when α-, β-, or γ-HBCD were individually incubated with CLMs. Response values (the ratio between the peak areas of the target compound and its internal standard) for OH-HBCD were 1-3 orders of magnitude higher than those for OH-PBCD, di-OH-HBCD, and di-OH-PBCD, suggesting that OH-HBCD might be the major metabolites of α-, β- and γ-HBCD produced by CLMs. No diastereoisomeric or enantiomeric bioisomerisation was observed incubating α-, β- or γ-HBCD with CLMs. Collectively, our data suggest that (i) BDE-47 is metabolized at a faster rate than BDE-99 by CLMs, (ii) OH-HBCD are the major hydroxylated metabolites of α-, β- and γ-HBCD produced by CLMs and (iii) the diastereoisomeric or enantiomeric bioisomerisation of α-, β- and γ-HBCD is not mediated by chicken CYP enzymes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-228
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Research
Issue numberPart A
Early online date24 Oct 2015
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015


  • Biotransformation
  • Chicken liver microsomes
  • Cytochrome P450
  • Hexabromocyclododecane
  • Polybrominated diphenyl ethers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)


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